For almost any given year, one can find some sort of theory or speculation that the world as we know it is going to end. To put the best interpretation on these 'prophecies', one might assume the speculators’ and theorists’ activities fall under the banner of obeying Jesus’ admonition to 'watch' for when his coming is near (Matthew 24:42).
Ministers, preachers, televangelists, and charlatans usually use some obscure passage from the Bible to scare people into believing the end is near. They want those they can reach to attend their meetings, watch their TV shows and (often the true motive) contribute money to their causes. We should keep in mind the words of our Lord when we hear such people.
36 NO ONE knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father . . . 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when YOU DO NOT EXPECT HIM (Matthew 24:36, 44, NIV84 unless stated)
Many people remember the furor and near panic that surrounded the advent of the year 2000 (Y2K). It was foretold that at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000 that terrible things would begin to occur. The world's economic system would begin to collapse. Airplanes would fall from the skies, and so on. People horded food and water, bought ammunition and waited for the end to come.
Then there was the Mayan calendar, which marked the end of a 5,126-year period on December 21, 2012. Several books and articles were published just before the date proclaiming apocalyptic events or cosmic disturbances were sure to occur.
Recently, there have been predictions that a four-part appearance of "blood moons," the last of which occurs on September 28, 2015, is the sign that the prophetic "Day of the Lord" will begin.
What do all these end time predictions have in common? To be sure, most are interesting in their complexities and the almost ingenuous ways people find to isolate Bible scripture to 'prove their point.' However, every one of them has, and will, FAIL! They were all promoted by people God warned about through Moses.
20 But a prophet (one who PRETENDS to be one) who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.' 21 You may say to yourselves, 'How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?' 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord DOES NOT TAKE PLACE OR COME TRUE, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:20 – 22)
We do not have a civil government (as the Israelites at the time of Moses) with the power and laws to put false prophets to death nor should we judge their hearts. However, we can judge their fruits, not be afraid of what they say, and warn others not to fall prey to their prophetic lies. In years to come, there will certainly be more doomsday prophets trumpeting "the end of the world as we know it."
23. Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'He is there,' DO NOT BELIEVE IT. 24. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets . . . (Matthew 24:23 - 24, HBFV)
Rather than wasting our time delving into when the end is near, we need to do what Jesus said to do. We need to be about our Father's business of loving him with our whole heart and serving others.
Excerpts from article by Clay Willis
One of BibleStudy.org's Email Evangelists